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N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law § 11-100 was not intended to impose liability for underage drinking which occurs upon an individual's premises without his or her knowledge or permission, or with alcoholic beverages over which he or she has no control.
Plaintiff injured party's mother filed an action against defendant homeowners seeking to hold the homeowners liable under N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law § 11-100 as a result of injuries suffered by her son after he drank alcohol at the home of one of the homeowners and was injured in a swimming pool owned by the other homeowner. The trial court held that the homeowners were not liable under N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law § 11-100 where the homeowners had not given, offered, furnished, or procured alcohol for the injured party or anyone else at their homes on the day of the injury. On appeal, the injured party's mother argued that the homeowners could have been held liable under § 11-100 if they constructively furnished or assisted in procuring alcoholic beverages to underage persons by failing to supervise such individuals at their residence.
Could the defendant homeowners be held liable for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff mother’s son after the son drank alcohol at the home of one of the homeowners and was injured in a swimming pool owned by the other homeowner?
The appellate court affirmed the judgment dismissing the mother's claim against the homeowners. The appellate court held that the homeowners were only liable under § 11-100 if they knowingly caused intoxication or impairment of ability by furnishing or assisting the injured party in procuring alcoholic beverages knowing that the injured party was under 21 years of age. In this case, the homeowners were not liable under § 11-100 where they were not home when the injured party consumed the alcohol, there was no evidence that they had knowledge of or had given permission for the consumption of alcohol, and the alcohol was brought into their home. Furthermore, the other homeowners were not liable under § 11-100 where the injured party did not consume any alcohol at their home.